The mountains near Spruce Pine, North Carolina are among the richest in minerals and gems in the United States. More than 300 varieties are showcased in the Museum of North Carolina Minerals, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Because of the Parkway’s popularity, this museum may introduce more people to minerals and gems that any other such facility in the country.
The Museum of North Carolina Minerals features interactive displays about the minerals and gems found in the region as well as the historical importance of the mining industry to the local economy.
The Museum also hosts a visitor center for the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, with information on local businesses, attractions, lodging, food and more. A gift shop featuring souvenirs and books on Western North Carolina is located in the museum.
The Museum is located at Gillespie Gap, an important stop for Revolutionary War fighters on their way to the Battle of Kings Mountain. Each September the Museum hosts an encampment of re-enactors who assume the role of the Overmountain Men, primarily Scots-Irish settlers from Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina who came “over the mountains” and ultimately defeated the left wing of Cornwallis’ army at Kings Mountain, South Carolina. Many historians mark this victory as the turning point in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War.
Click on the link below to hear a Living Traditions Moment about minerals in Western North Carolina
Mineral Wealth of Western North Carolina
Hours of Operation
Open year round, 9 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week.
Hours of operation and fees are subject to change. Contact directly for most current information.
Located at milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the junction with NC Hwy. 226.
Museum of North Carolina Minerals
214 Parkway Maintenance Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777